My Gifts and Christmas Wishlist 2011 ! ! !

My expenses have greatly bloated this year and they were mostly spent on my gadgets.

☜ Epiphany ☞

I bought my very own dSLR last January. This is my biggest shell-out for 2011 but I do not regret having Epiphany. She is an extension of how see the world and its beauty. She preserves my memories through the photographs she’s taking.

Ovation Chassis

I bought my new PC last June. I had my old PC for 5 years and it had been repaired and upgraded many times. Although, it crashed one day due to over-usage. I was low on cash so I borrowed some from Dad.

Small but stylish!

I bought my around-the-ear headphones last July as an alternative for my big cans. I am using this more often now since my cans got broken. *sob*

Canon EOS 500D accessories

During the months of November and December, I bought some accessories for Epiphany. My hands are shaky so I bought a tripod for occasions that require it. I bought a screen protector because the old plastic one was removed during our trip to Nagsasa. I bought the prime lense so I can use it for portraits on low-lit areas.

Sennheiser PX200 and HD518

THESE ARE WHAT I WANT!!! I don’t know the quality of the HD518 yet. I just like how it looks and I hope it’s either as good or better than the HD418. I’ve been to a listening room and I have tested the PX200. It is waaaaaaaaaaaaayyy more powerful than any of those I tried and owned. It’s so expensive, though. *sob*

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Weekly Photo Challenge : Possibility

This puppy is only a few weeks old. We don't have a name for it yet.

I am not sure if puppies at this age can already see their surroundings or at least view the silhouette. It often cries when it can't feel anything moving near it.

Tee-hee~ Little puppy is sleepy~ That's the mom's feet on the upper right of the photo. LoL! These are merely snapshots. I'm really not that good taking photos of moving subjects --- like kids and pets --- that's why I used multishots to get decent photos. *sigh*

Wanda is our pet Havanese but she mated with mongrels thus her puppies come with different appearances, temperaments and personalities. Some of her brood are feisty, some are timid, some are playful, some are noisy, some have long coats, some have short coats, some grow into large dogs, some are small, and all of them are ALWAYS HUNGRY!!! ☻

This puppy is one of Wanda’s fourth batch of litter. It’s barely a month old and we don’t have a name for it yet. We don’t know what its appearance and temperament would be a few months from now. I am also unsure if mom would decide to keep it or donate it just like the others. So many possibilities and only time can tell what is in store for this little bundle of joy. ☺

This is my official entry for this week’s photo challenge: [Possibility]

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Wi-Tribe . . .

This is my third attempt on getting a decent Internet Service Provider.

My first ISP was SmartBRO. It generally had a good signal, stable speed and minimal dropouts. Unfortunately, when problems arise, their technical support people are more or less no better than a fifth grader. I ended my subscription after being loyal to them for five long years [full story here]!!! GLOBE, SKYCable, PLDT, Bayantel : all these are unavailable in our friggin’ remote area. I tried Sun Broadband for three months. The first few days were horrible. [full story here] Problems started multiplying during my third month with them. A little wind or drizzle will plummet the signal to zero. Playing MMORPGs also became a burden. I could not simultaneously play games, browse and use Skype.

Not even close to 1 Mbps…

Wi-Tribe became available in our area about a few months ago but they only had a download quota of 6GB a month. I am a heavy user so 6GB will never be enough for me. It was just recently that they abolished the quota and decided to go “Unlimited” so I became interested and I didn’t think twice on subscribing (with a 24-months lock-in period)!

That “Up to 1 Mbps” is always a WTF disclaimer.  When the technician installed it, I was only getting 200 kbps download speeds. He said that the speed increases while I am using it…… Lies! I tried my usual stuff and the best I could get was 560 kbps!!!

I called their technical support hotline and asked how I can access my portal. The dude who assisted me was knowledgeable enough to tell me all the details I needed. I was so concerned when I saw that I’ve consumed almost 9GB in less than a month and that the quota shown on my account was 6GB! The agent said to just disregard what was stated in there because they have indeed switched to “Unlimited” plans. He said that their portal page and database haven’t been upgraded yet. LoL!

An almost “WTF” moment

Fragments of Memories . . .

A month has passed since my old PC died so I seldom went online. It was frustrating because a lot of things happened and I can barely remember them now. Only fragments of memories remain within — awaiting salvation. LoL!

Meiko's Pink Birthday~

Claribelle and I celebrated our birthdays together with the rest of the barkada. As usual, I am the only one in a dress and they were wearing jeans! Toni showed us a restaurant showcasing all sorts of Coca-cola memorabilia, which has been aptly named The Real Thing Diner. Their main color is red with a splash of white in between. The shelves beside the main entrance are donned with mugs, stuffed toys, bottles, and other trinkets. Another shelf is located atop the windowpane which is decorated with soda cans of varying designs. There is also a wide-screen TV playing Coke commercials dating back from the 80’s! How’s the food? Well, definitely not the best among the lot but the taste is just right. Another cool thing is that this is the one-and-only restaurant serving Royal True-Orange floats (AFAIK)! I felt so bad that I left Epiphany at home (darn rain)!!!

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FAILING HARD DRIVE ? ! !

I had siesta this afternoon and my little sister used my PC for her usual games and browsing. She suddenly stopped (which is unusual since she can go for 15 hours straight playing in front of the PC) and decided to sleep. When she woke up, she told me that the PC froze. Around 5:30PM, I decided to switch my PC back on and an error message was stuck on my screen.

Ethernet Cable Failure

I tried restarting my PC several times but this message always showed up. I tried booting via other options but they also failed because my hard drive cannot be detected.

I thought it was a peripheral failure so I accessed the BIOS and disabled the LAN ROM. I have no idea what that’s for but I tweaked it a few weeks ago, thinking that it can help me resolve my issues with SmartBRO. My PC was able to boot  to Windows right after I saved the new BIOS settings.

BIOS - Integrated Peripherals

I searched the Internet for answers and they mostly point out to the hard drive as the cause. My HD is more than five years old, methinks, and I’ve performed OSRI so many times. I’m actually surprised that it withstood so much beating! LoL!

(My processor, my hard drive and my monitor are the only peripherals that originally came with the package. All else have been replaced.)

I still have to monitor if it’s going to reoccur or if those changes finally restored everything back to the way they were.

 

 

p/s. photos grabbed from other netizens.

Incompetence [2] . . .

Pretty decent ... Only for today. LoL!

SUN Wireless Broadband has an excellent signal strength (based on their statistics) but for some odd reason the speed of my connection drops to 0.00 kbps after a couple of minutes and it stays there.  I have to restart my PC each time that happens. That has been ongoing since I subscribed to them. Sometimes I just don’t know which to hate more — the Internet Service Providers or our house’s location.

Surprisingly, it’s been good the entire day today so I’m able to blog again. I am unsure if this will be permanent or if it will go back to how it used to be.

Good enough speed. If only the signal lasts more than an hour. LoL!

Since the connection holds today, I decided to setup my email via Thunderbird. I have no clue what their outgoing mail server was so I called their technical support to ask. I was very upset with the outcome, though.

Me: Ano yung SMTP server ninyo? (What’s your SMTP server?)
SUN TSR: Ano po yung “SMTP” ma’am? (What is “SMTP” ma’am?)

That was a FACE PALM moment! LoL!

The dude even asked me to send an email to suncellular@digitel.ph to get the answer for that simple question. I did send them an email but they have not replied yet. In the end, I had to search Google for the answer. Actually, the answer still wasn’t in Google. I just figured it out on my own — I used my email provider’s SMTP server.

Incompetence . . .

SmartBRO sucks!

After five years of subscription, I decided to cut my ties with SmartBRO.

SmartBRO’s service has been terrible and their technical support agents were very incompetent. My phone calls to them frequently get disconnected and they do not bother ringing me back. Each phone call to them can last for a mere minute to two hours — 90% of the time they put me on hold and the conversation ended up with either a disconnection or their representatives will just say “We consulted our ‘support group’ … Wait within 24 hours for an update.” I asked their supervisors to call me during specific times and give me updates but they never kept their word. About 90% (again) of the time, they will ring my phone twice but they will hang up before I could pick up and answer. I asked them to send out a technician and they did — although he didn’t arrive on the date and time he was scheduled. The technician was supposed to arrive on March 8 between 8AM-10AM but it was already 12NN and he was nowhere to be found. When I called their hotline, they said that no one’s going to come out because the technician who was assigned to us was off-course. I talked to another supervisor and demanded a tech out at once but she declined saying that the techs are fully-booked. She told me that a field tech will be dispatched “first thing in the morning” … Lo and behold; the field tech arrived around 12NN the following day. WTF?! I was very frustrated because I was out of the house when the tech arrived. 12NN is NOT “morning” … That’s why it’s called “NOON” … Their agents and the field tech blamed my computer as the source of the problem.

Sun Broadband HUAWEI plug-it modem

SmartBRO cannot explain why my computer only has Internet connection during off-peak hours and why the PING tests continuously drop. I can’t even ping my WAN IP Address. They also cannot explain why I cannot access websites other than their WebConnect and their Portal. I may not be a network guru but I’ve used computers since I was in fifth grade and my line of work happens to be dealing with Internet problems. I’ve checked my computer even as far as performing OSRI. I am 100% sure that my PC is fine.

I cancelled the account yesterday and I was so infuriated because the front desk dude even had the guts to offer me an internet connection via the SAMSUNG Galaxy. WTF? I made it clear that their service is crappy and yet there he was offering me another product! If I was in a bad mood, I’d punch him in the kisser.

I went to SUN Broadband and subscribed to their unlimited plan. I admit that our area is quite remote that’s why Internet services are mostly unavailable there but SUN became my choice since their lock-in period is only 3 months.

Good enough speed. If only the signal lasts more than an hour. LoL!

SUN’s speed is much slower than SmartBRO’s and there are also disconnections (due to signal loss, understandable since I am way too far from their access point) but I didn’t encounter the same symptoms — dropping PING tests, portal-only access, nong-ping-able IP. It’s an indication that my PC is error-free. It was completely SmartBRO’s fault all along and they just won’t admit it.

SmartBRO’s service has been very good for many years, but their technical support’s inefficiencies in detecting the cause of the problem will get customers nowhere. It’s as if a person is sick and he goes to a doctor that cannot pin-point the cause of his pain. He may die because of that doctor’s incompetence.

If my PC is the problem then how come I can use the Internet now that I’m with a different ISP? SmartBRO is just full of bull and this proves it.

Anyway, I’m just waiting for their SmartBRO’s tech to come and pull out the canopy.

Never will I recommend nor use SmartBRO again.